Group A and Group B

Unless we explicitly say otherwise you must send us the original physical documents, not scans or photocopies.

We will accept a notarised copy of a passport from a suitably accredited notary in the country in which you reside. This is because in some cases it is impractical or illegal for passports to be posted outside of their country of issue. The notarised copy must be accompanied by a signed and dated letter from the notary.

If any of your documents are not in English you must provide us with both the original and an English translation from an approved translator.

Group A

  • Current, valid UK passport.
  • Signed valid passport of any other nationality.
  • Driving licence photocard if it was issued by the DVLA in Great Britain. We will not accept the photocard on its own if it was issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland.
  • Driving licence photocard and its paper counterpart issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland.
  • UK original birth certificate issued within 12 months of birth
  • UK biometric residence permit card

Group B

If you have been asked to take Group B documents to the post office they must be from this list and they must show your current address.

  • Bank or building society statement issued to your current address, less than three months old. You can use more than one statement as long as each is issued by a different bank or building society.
  • Utility bill (gas, electric, telephone, water, satellite, cable) issued to your current address within the last three months. You can only submit one utility bill in support of your application.
  • A credit card statement sent to your current address within the last three months. You can submit more than one statement as long as each is issued by a different issuer.
  • Council Tax statement issued in the last 12 months.
  • Mortgage statement issued in the last 12 months.
  • Letter from H.M. Revenue & Customs, Department of Work and Pensions, employment service, or local authority issued within the last three months. You can submit more than one letter as long as each is issued by a different Government department or a different local authority.
  • P45 statement of income for tax purposes on leaving a job issued in the last 12 months.
  • P60 annual statement of income for tax purposes issued in the last 12 months.
  • Current UK driving licence – paper version (not the paper counterpart to a photocard).
  • Driving licence photocard (without a paper counterpart) issued by the DVA in Northern Ireland.
  • Pension, endowment or ISA statement issued in last 12 months.
  • Valid UK firearms licence with photo.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Licence?

There is no standard timescale for licence applications.

The time taken to process your application will be affected by many different factors: your nationality (insofar as it affects your right to work in the UK), your address history, your criminal record if you have one, whether you’ve spent time outside the UK, and so on. Every application carries with it its own specific set of circumstances that must be taken into account.

Because of this, each application will be processed according to its own individual timescale. Some will be processed in days, others weeks, and some may take months – for example, if we have to wait for the outcome of a court case before we can make our decision.

Our timescales are also affected by the number of applications being processed at the time and the current response times of the various other agencies involved (for example, the criminality disclosure bodies), which are critical to our daily activities.

Decision Timescale Indicator

We have developed an online tool that will provide a more useful answer to the question. This tool uses data drawn from the previous 6 months to estimate how long an application will take.

Go to our decision timescale indicator

Things You Need To Know

YOU make a big difference to the speed of your application

We use the information you give us and if this is incorrect or incomplete then your application will be delayed. As an example:

  • We receive Application A. Some of the details provided by the applicant are incorrect, so we must write to them to ask them for the correct information. We cannot make a decision on whether to grant their licence until we receive that information.
  • We receive Application B a day after Application A. This time we have everything we need to make our decision – so, even though we received Application B after Application A, we will make our decision on Application B first.

We are not responsible for any delays that may be caused by you giving us incorrect or incomplete information, so please take the time to review your application BEFORE you submit it because once you’ve submitted it you won’t be able to change it.

You should also respond quickly to any requests from us for further information as doing so will prevent unnecessary delays to your application.

You may not get a licence

You are not guaranteed a licence simply because you apply for one. As the regulator of the private security industry, it is our role to determine whether you meet the required criteria and if you do not we will refuse your application.

You are also not guaranteed a licence simply because you have held one previously. Our licensing criteria may change over time and by law we must make our decision according to the criteria in force at the time.

Stages of an Application

1. Draft

Fill in your application. You will be asked for certain personal information – for example, where you have lived within the last 5 years. You don’t have to do this all in one go: you can do this over the course of several visits to our site if you need to.

You can only make changes to your application while it is in the draft stage.

If you have started an application, but not submitted it, it will be saved as a draft and shown as ‘Draft’ in the Application Status Checker.

2. Submitted

Once you submit your application you will not be able to change it, so please make sure that the information you give us is complete and accurate.

After you make your application you can check its progress at any time via your online SIA account. If you click on the ‘My Applications’ tab in your account, this opens the Application Status Checker. This shows the progress of your application in a simple visual way.

3. Next Steps

Once you have submitted your application, your status will change to ‘Next Steps’. You will get a message in your online account headed “Action required: Instructions to complete your SIA application”. This message will also be emailed to you. We call this the ‘Next Steps’ letter.

This will tell you exactly what we need from you to continue with your application. Please read it carefully and make sure you understand what we require from you. This could include going to the post office to pay the licence fee and have your identity documents checked, or sending physical documents to us for verification.

We cannot process your application until you have followed all the instructions in your Next Steps letter.

4. Checks in Progress

Once you have provided everything that we’ve asked for in the ‘Next Steps’ stage, you will get a message in your online account headed “Your application is complete and will now be processed”. This message will also be emailed to you. Your status will now be shown as ‘Checks in Progress’; this is the stage at which we start to process your application.

We check your criminal record, right to work and photographs, amongst other things. In some cases we will ask you to send further documents related to these checks. These will show in your online account as ‘further information requests’.

Responding quickly to any further information requests will prevent unnecessary delays to your application.

5. Decision Made

Once we have made all our checks and reached a decision, you will get a decision notification in your online account and via email. If you are successful, you will appear on the register of licence holders, and receive a physical licence shortly afterwards.

If we decide that it necessary to refuse your licence application we will write to you to explain why; you will then have 21 days from the date on our decision letter to provide a response. You can respond through your personal online account (using the ‘Contact the SIA’ form) or by post. If we do not receive a response from you within the 21 days the decision to refuse you a licence will automatically take effect.







  • Log into your SIA account
  • Choose “Start a New Application”
  • Section 1: Consent for SIA to have your personal details and check them. You must tick to accept this
  • Section 2: Fill in your full name; date of birth; nationality; Mother’s maiden name; National Insurance No.
  • Section 3: Driving Licence and/or Passport Number
  • Section 4: Known by any other names? Always be honest
  • Section 5: A 5 year address history with NO gaps (use “add address” to move on to the next one) Make sure each date overlaps eg. March 2018 – August 2018, August 2018 – December 2018, December 2018 – October 2019 etc
  • Section 6: Select: FRONT LINE, DOOR SUPERVISOR only, nothing else
  • Section 7: Your criminal record – TELL THE TRUTH!
  • Section 8: Your mental health – TELL THE TRUTH!
  • Section 9: Check all your details are correct, then submit


  • Go to your nearest Post Office that does these applications (there is a Post Office finder on the SIA website)
  • Take your Application Number and your Group A and B documents
  • The Post Office will check all these, take your photograph and give you a receipt. YOU PAY NOTHING
  • Keep a check on your SIA account to see where your application is up to. They will issue you with a badge number when they are ready to send it. BEWARE it arrives in a plain envelope a couple of days to a week later, keep an eye out for it.

How to fill in the application form SIA video:

Get in Touch

Get in touch to learn more about what we do or book a course NOW

Get in Touch